What’s Wrong with Pro Sports

Want to know what’s wrong with pro sports?  I don’t have time to write a book, so I’ll give one big thing:

The 37-year-old [Tony] Gonzalez came back for one more season with hopes of ending his career as a Super Bowl champion. The Falcons’ 1-4 start and the loss of star receiver Julio Jones have left some wondering if Gonzalez would want to be traded to a contender. The Chiefs are 5-0.

Now, to be clear, Gonzalez denies his wishes to be traded later on in the article:

Gonzalez told Fox Sports he has no desire to be traded. He was unavailable for comment during Wednesday’s open locker-room session.

But this touches one of the most egregious displays of egotism, the desire for the championship ring.  Some players will say or do anything or go anywhere to “win a ring.”  And in doing so, sacrifice so much of what winning a championship is all about.

Don’t get me wrong, winning championships is one of, if not THE, primary goal in sports.  I’ve had the opportunity to be on a team (ahem, a school team) that won a state championship and got a big ring.  And let me tell you, getting that piece of hardware – big and shiny and in your face – was a big motivator – especially when we were oh so close to the prize.  But the ring has been in the closet for a couple of decades not.  The is now tarnished and old.  But the memories of the incredibly difficult practices in the unmerciful Alabama August weather, the hard fought games and the rowdy bus rides back home do not fade and do not grow tarnished.

You see, it is indeed not just about the ring.  It is about the journey.  It’s about the ride.  It’s about the process.

All these ring-jumpers – folks that hop on a team just in time to win a championship – don’t get it.  Folks that commit to their teammates, win or lose, good or bad, do get it.